The reversion of institutionalized injustice against the people of Southern Kaduna has been described as the effective panacea for putting an end to the persistent crises in the area. This position was posited by Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan Diocese, when the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama led a delegation of the Bishops Conference on an official visit to the diocese, recently.
The visit was to felicitate with him on the return from his overseas medical treatment trip and wish him total recovery, renewal of energy and total healing; as well as commiserate with him, the priests, religious and laity of the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan on the unfortunate crisis that has befallen the diocese and the people of Southern Kaduna in general as a result of the atrocities of Fulani Cattle herdsmen.
Responding to the solidarity message of the Bishops of the country, Bishop Bagobiri expressed gratitude for the message and the financial support of 20 Million donation from the conference and explained the circumstances responsible for the persistent crisis in the area. “It is important to put on record that the insecurity situation we experience as a Diocese in Kafanchan and Southern Kaduna has not stopped despite the presence of Security Agents,” Most Rev Joseph Bagobiri stated.
The Local Ordinary of Kafanchan Diocese who remarked that the People of Kanfanchan and Southern Kaduna have been living peacefully also noted that the crisis has persisted because the people are constantly being provoked by the Fulani herdsmen and the Federal Government and Security Agents seem to be taking sides in the crisis.
“The crisis here has persisted because of the way and manner the Federal and State governments, as well as the Security Agents are handling it. Many of us are disappointed to see that our political leaders are taking sides and known to be supporting directly or indirectly the Fulanis themselves and that is why they are fast losing the support and trust of the people. Perhaps, if we have a State Governor that is a Statesman and is seen to care for the plight of the indigenes of both the Southern and Northern Kaduna, this crisis would have been a thing of the past.” Bishop Bagobiri declared.
According to him, the root cause of the conflict stems from what he calls the structural injustice in the system of governance in Kaduna State.
“The root cause of this crisis is the institutionalization of what could be regarded as structural injustice. There is no fairness in the distribution of social amenities in Kaduna State. It is on record that in Northern Kaduna especially in Zaria there are over 19 Federal government projects. In central Kaduna alone, there are over 29 projects. But when it comes to Southern Kaduna, where majority of Christians live, there is no single Federal government project. These to my view, is a deliberate policy of injustice designed to shut our people out from the scheme of things and deny us our rights.” He noted
Bishop Bagobiri continued: “If an election is conducted in Kaduna over and over again, it is obvious that no one can win an election from Southern Kaduna. Indeed a lot of things that are going on here have to do with the fall-out of unjust structures in the way government is run in Kaduna State. Perhaps the only political solution out of the present predicament is the creation of another state out of the present Kaduna comprising mainly of Southern Kaduna. But the obstacle here is that our present Constitution makes it so difficult and almost impossible to do that.”